Steamboat skiers grab top finishes at Freestyle Junior Nationals |

Steamboat skiers grab top finishes at Freestyle Junior Nationals

Lennon Vaughn flies above the half-pipe during the Junior National skiing freestyle half-pipe competition in Park City, Utah. Vaughn placed fourth in the event.

Disappointment in one event fueled a big day for Steamboat Springs skier Lennon Vaughn in another.

Vaughn, who was shut out of the finals in a recent event in Aspen, skied to fourth place in the Junior Nationals skier half-pipe event in Park City, Utah.

"After that Aspen event a couple of weeks ago, he buckled down and put in some really good work and it paid off in Park City," Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club coach Tony Lodico said. "The last two weeks he's just been a changed athlete. You could see the gears turning."

Vaughn hit a 900 into a cork right combination — "which is pretty tough," Lodico said — to a "loopy 5 into a flat 5 with some switch stuff at the bottom of the pipe."

That pushed the Steamboat skier into the top five. Broby Leeds won the event. John Leonard was second, and Colby Stevenson was third.

Jake Sear was 25th for Steamboat in the same event.

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The Winter Sports Club also got other top finishes at the event in the moguls competitions. There, Avital Shimko placed fifth for the Steamboat women in the Friday moguls competition. Jaelin Kauf was 20th. George Degrandis, meanwhile, was sixth on the men's side, and Evan Smith was 20th.

To reach Joel Reichenberger, call 970-871-4253 or email

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